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Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ended more than five years ago, but no one told the people who run the Windows activation servers. As a result, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8. That upgrade became more important than ever when support for Windows 7 officially ended in January And it turned out to be a great relief to household budgets when the pandemic made working from home or going to school via remote sessions suddenly popular. In the past two years, millions of people have taken old PCs out of storage and gotten up to speed quickly, thanks to these free upgrades.

You can also still upgrade Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro by using a product key from a previous business edition of Windows 7, 8, or 8. For details, see “How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro without hassles. Every technique I describe in this article works the same for Windows 11 as well, although most older PCs will be blocked from upgrading to Microsoft’s newest operating system by the stringent Windows 11 hardware compatibility requirements.

For those PCs, Windows 10 remains a viable option until at least October In this post, I’ll cover the basics of how to install Windows 10 as an upgrade on older hardware. I’ll also talk about the licensing issues involved, which are as always confusing. I wrote and published the first version of this post in early , several months after Microsoft’s initial free upgrade offer ended. The free upgrade offer had just ended, and when I downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade tool and ran it on an old Windows 7 PC, I fully expected that the upgrade would fail activation and I’d be asked for a product key.

Over the next four-plus years, I repeated those steps on test PCs at regular intervals and confirmed that the free upgrade tool still works. I continue to receive email messages regularly from readers offering firsthand reports that their free upgrades were successful, with no purchase or product key required.

A small number of readers have reported that the upgrade fails because of a Setup error or a compatibility block. For details on how to troubleshoot these errors, see “This free Windows 10 upgrade offer still works. Here’s why – and how to get it. Whether you’re looking for a tablet to stream videos or to replace your laptop, here are some compelling options. Before getting started, I recommend a few preliminary tasks that can head off potential problems:. With those preliminaries out of the way, go to the Download Windows 10 webpage and click the Download tool now button.

After the download completes, double-click the executable file to run the Media Creation Tool. That option installs the most recent version of Windows It typically takes about an hour, depending on your hardware. Having an SSD as your system drive is the best way to speed up the process. If you know you’ll want to upgrade to Windows 10 on more than one PC, or if you just want more flexibility in the event that the instant upgrade fails, choose the second option and save the installation files to a USB drive or as an ISO file.

The download takes a little time but when it’s complete, you can run the Windows Setup program manually to install Windows 10 on any PC running any supported Windows version sorry, this won’t work with PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP. The exact steps depend on which download option you chose:. Then just follow the prompts to complete the upgrade to Windows All your apps and data files will be available.

The digital license is associated with that specific device, which means you can reformat the disk and perform a clean installation of the same edition of Windows 10 anytime. If you’re thinking of upgrading your old system drive to an SSD, perform the upgrade to Windows 10 on the old hardware; after confirming that the new Windows 10 version is properly activated, install the SSD and then either restore from a backup image or boot from the USB flash drive to do a clean install. You won’t need a product key, and activation is automatic.

And now the big question: If you avail yourself of this upgrade to Windows 10, is the resulting license valid? The entire “free upgrade” offer was always accompanied by language that was, to put it politely, a bit squishy.

And the language around the end of that offer was similarly vague. That’s very odd language. The free upgrade through the Get Windows 10 app ended on July 29, Likewise, the discussion of product keys says a key will be necessary “for this tool to work” not true but doesn’t say a word about licensing.

And unlike the weaselly “Genuine Windows” label on older upgrades, the activation screens for a Windows 10 upgrade specifically confirm the existence of a “digital license.

Anyway, the free upgrade offer was extended briefly, at least for people who use assistive technologies. The FAQ on a separate page even called it a “free upgrade offer extension” and pointedly noted that it was not limited to specific assistive technologies. I regularly use the Magnifier utility in Windows, which is indisputably an assistive technology. Of course, I’m not a lawyer, and this column isn’t legal advice. But I will say that I am personally confident in the activation status of any PC upgraded using the tool on that page during the eligibility period.

This extension was, I think, a very large nod and a wink, designed to make it easy for those who wanted a Windows 10 upgrade to still get it while placating the OEM partners who were none too happy about the year-long emphasis on upgrades rather than new PC sales. Alas, I say “was,” because the extension which was itself extended officially ended on Jan. The page that formerly ran an Upgrade Assistant now returns an error message.

The big question now is whether Microsoft will ever turn off the code on its activation servers that dispenses digital licenses after an upgrade from an earlier Windows version. I’ve continued to test that scenario, and I can confirm, long after the end of support for Windows 7, that it still works.

I continue to hear from readers sharing their experiences. If you’ve used this technique on a PC, click my name at the top of this post and use the contact form to let me know how it went for you. Note: This article was originally published in January It has been updated multiple times since then to reflect the most current information. Home Business Enterprise Software. Microsoft’s much-hyped free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ended years ago, right?

Not exactly. ZDNet Recommends. One digital license, no product key required. You can upgrade directly using this tool, or create separate media.

Ed Bott’s 10 most popular Windows 10 tips. The wording here is remarkably vague. Featured Don’t waste your money on these Apple products: August edition How I installed ChromeOS Flex in 30 minutes The 9 best back-to-school deals on Amazon right now Why ‘debloating’ Windows is not a good idea and what to do instead.

Show Comments. Log In to Comment Community Guidelines. Related Microsoft: These two new tools will help you get ready for Windows Microsoft: These two new tools will help you get ready for Windows 11 PCs. How to recover deleted files in Windows 10 or How to recover deleted files in Windows 10 or 11 Windows.

 
 

You can still download Windows 10 for free – CNET.How to download Windows 10 for free

 

Ready to move on up to Windows 10? Here are all the steps you need for success. Windows 10 is finally here and it’s the best version of the operating system we’ve seen in a while. Even better, it’s a free update if you already have Windows 7 or newer. The new operating system is available as an update starting July 29 and we recommend you upgrade. If you’re ready to bring your Windows 8 or 7 machine up to the latest version of Microsoft’s OS, there are few things you’ll have to do to make the upgrade as painless as possible.

I’ve outlined the key steps to follow below. To protect all of the files you have on your computer, I highly recommended that you back up your computer, just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade process.

You will need to install all of the updates for the current version of Windows you have on your machine. If you’ve set up automatic updates, you should be all set, but double-check first. Once your computer has the latest updates, you’ll need to wait for a Windows icon to pop up in the taskbar on your desktop, letting you know you can reserve Windows Follow the directions on the screen to let Microsoft know that you would like the Windows 10 update.

You may enter your email address to confirm the update, but it is not necessary. When you’re finished with the reservation process, all you can do is sit back and wait for Microsoft to automatically send Windows 10 to your computer, a process that can take several days or weeks.

When it’s time to install the update, you will get a notification on your computer. If you’ve finished all the above steps and do not want to wait another minute to get Windows 10, there is a way to speed things up. Check out CNET’s guide to manually downloading and installing Windows 10 to jump the line and get started now. However, use this process at your own risk, because it can be more complicated than simply waiting for the update to arrive. Your guide to a better future.

Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories? No, thank you Accept. Tech Computing. Sarah Mitroff. July 29, p. Sarah Mitroff Senior Editor. Now playing: Watch this: How to upgrade to Windows 10 right now. Enlarge Image. Receive expert tips on using phones, computers, smart home gear and more. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

Free Windows 10 Upgrade – CNET Download.How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

 

Although Microsoft’s July 29 deadline has expired, there’s an easy way to get Windows 10 gratis — provided you don’t mind a little white internet lie. Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms chronicled in the ebook “I Was a Http://replace.me/16429.txt Zombie”.

In case you missed it, July 29 was the last day to get Windows 10 for free. If you planned ahead, you windows 10 free upgrade cnet have taken steps to secure your upgrade even after that deadline.

Or maybe not! For windows 10 free upgrade cnet limited time, Microsoft will continue to offer Windows 10 at no charge for users who rely on the operating system’s assistive technologies жмите specifically, individuals with significant vision, hearing, dexterity, language or learning needs.

If you’re lucky enough to have no such needs, well, it’ll just be our little secret. Because Microsoft requires no proof that windows 10 free upgrade cnet a user of assistive-technology products, meaning pretty much anyone who wants Windows 10 can get Windows If you missed the free Windows 10 upgrade, you can still get it — even if you don’t use assistive technologies. We won’t tell if you don’t. And the process couldn’t be much simpler: Head best making software for pc download the Windows 10 upgrade page and click Upgrade Now.

That’ll download a small executable you’ll run to download Windows 10 in its entirety and perform the upgrade. There’s nothing different about this version of Windows or the license that accompanies it. It’s pretty much identical to what everyone got prior to July I’m trying to decide if there’s some ethical reason not to do this. Because, to be honest, I just did it yesterday — I’d forgotten to update one of windows 10 free upgrade cnet kids’ older laptops and was kicking myself for having missed the cutoff date.

It’s not like I deprived another user of getting something they truly need; Microsoft hasn’t indicated a fixed number of licenses available or anything like that. Indeed, the windows 10 free upgrade cnet has no termination date, at least for the moment. According to Microsoft’s FAQ: ” We have not announced an end date of the free upgrade offer for customers using assistive technology.

We will make a public announcement prior to ending the offer. Your guide to a better future. Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories? No, thank you Accept.

Rick Broida. Rick Broida Senior Editor. Enlarge Image.

 
 

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